Just missing out on the top ten, these individuals still exerted major power in the sector over the past 12 months
The winner of Entrepreneur of the Year at the Property Awards 2017 has had a fantastic year on the domestic and international stage - and at The Stage: the £750m mixed-use scheme being developed in Shoreditch.
In October, the firm provided a £78m loan to Lodha UK in one of the largest structured debt financings since the Brexit vote.
This May, it lent Lodha £290m to fund its £475m Lincoln Square scheme in London’s Midtown and in April, Cain Hoy and QIA provided a £450m loan to Canary Wharf Group to fund its office development One & Five Bank Street in what is believed to be the largest development financing deal to complete since the triggering of Article 50.
Needless to say, Goldstein remains bullish despite ongoing political uncertainty.
Toby Courtauld has been at the helm of GPE for the past 15 years, having been appointed in 2002 at the age of just 33. He is credited with helping to modernise the investment and development company, which owns
around £2.9bn of property in central London. Praised for his deep knowledge of the market he operates in, Courtauld has made numerous savvy investment plays during his tenure, not least buying at the eastern end of London’s Oxford Street during the planning stages of the Crossrail development. After several years of net selling - culminating in the £435m sale of Rathbone Square earlier this year - GPE is back on the lookout for buying opportunities. The industry will be watching with interest to see where he places his bets.
The Patron Capital managing director has celebrated not one but two major awards this year. First, it picked up the gong for Fund Manager of the Year at the Property Awards, in recognition of the closing of its fifth fund, which raised £804m. Then it scooped Deal of the Year at this year’s RESI Awards for its acquisition of Grainger Retirement Solutions alongside Epiris for £325m. Keith Breslauer believes market uncertainty brings opportunity. This is borne out by the increased stakes it has taken in CALA Group and Retirement Bridge Group. The New Yorker is also a dedicated philanthropist, personally raising more than £1m for charity since 2010, and last month, he was appointed chairman of the Prince’s Teaching Institute.
A leading light in the central London property market, Mike Hussey is known for his forthright views, but it is the landmark schemes he and his team continue to deliver that will be his legacy. Two of the firm’s current projects - Marble Arch Tower and Centre Point - are set to transform Oxford Street.
Last year, Almacantar was able to secure one of the largest development loans this cycle for a speculative scheme - a £400m loan for Marble Arch Tower from The Children’s Investment Fund. And just last month, it secured one of the biggest office lettings of 2017 so far at Southbank Place in London to WeWork.
If it seems as though Tritax Big Box REIT is dominating the distribution centre market, that is probably because it is. Most DCs let to big-name retailers on long-term leases are either under the ownership of the REIT or soon will be. The highly acquisitive company sticks to its investment model assiduously - and the strategy has clearly paid off.
The FTSE 250 firm returned shareholders 15.1% on their investments in 2016, way beyond its peers in the index. It is not surprising then that all its recent share placings have been oversubscribed.
Godfrey has been instrumental in building the portfolio, which now stands at 38 assets with a value close to £2bn - and he has done it all in less than four years.His latest coup was the purchase of a 700,000 sq ft Morrisons’ DC in Birch Coppice for just over £92m. Like many deals he does, it was conducted on an off-market basis - a secret of his success, perhaps.
Landsec’s chief executive Rob Noel has garnered praise for the way he has prepared the company for tougher times ahead by cutting its development exposure, lowering its gearing and increasing its average lease length.
He was a strong advocate for the UK to remain in the EU, warning ahead of the EU referendum that a vote to leave would be “very painful for our industry over the next few years”. He has continued
to warn of the negative consequences since.
However, Landsec is not standing still and waiting for the storms to pass. In May, it bought a portfolio of three outlet centres from Hermes Investment Management for £332.5m. The company also underwent a major rebranding exercise last month, changing its name from Land Securities to Landsec.
Since the EU referendum, British Land has made some substantial sales, starting with the disposal of the Debenhams flagship on Oxford Street last July and the recent sale of its 50% stake in the Leadenhall Building to CC Land for a cool £1.15bn.
That doesn’t mean Chris Grigg is sitting on his hands and waiting for market conditions to improve. After the Brexit vote, he committed to speculatively develop a 520,000 sq ft scheme at 100 Liverpool Street, which is due to complete at the end of 2019. The former banker is also taking British Land into new territory with the launch of flexible workspace brand Storey and has bold long-term development plans that will take the company into new areas of London, most notably Canada Water, where it is preparing a giant mixed-use scheme comprising housing, offices, retail and leisure space on a 46-acre site.
Derwent’s White Collar Factory scheme in EC1 has played a vital role in the creation of London’s ‘Tech Belt’. Winners of the Developer of the Year award at the Property Awards this year, John Burns and Simon Silver were ahead of the curve when it came to building and designing offices for the new breed of tech workers and have reaped the rewards of being early movers.
Their central London assets now cover 6m sq ft of space and are valued at £5bn, making Derwent London the largest London-focused REIT. The quality of its buildings has been reflected in the number of high-profile lettings it has achieved - including last month’s letting of two floors at the White Collar Factory to Box.com at an initial rent of £2.1m a year.
Over the past year, Derwent London has also successfully sold a number of schemes, such as The Copyright Building in Fitzrovia, recouping £670m that will be recycled into its development pipeline.
The son of British Land legend Sir John Ritblat is proving himself to be as much of a pioneer as his father. His company Delancey splashed out £557m with Qatari Diar to buy the Olympic Village in 2011 to create a massive BTR scheme long before institutional investors started piling into the sector.
This year, Get Living, the BTR specialist created by Delancey and Qatari Diar, has continued to break the mould by acquiring a site in Glasgow - a city where very few BTR schemes have been brought forward. In recent months, Ritblat has also embarked on interesting new projects. In January, Delancey joined forces with multi-family office Sandaire to launch an investment advisory firm called Mount Kendal and last month, it agreed to provide strategic support to new firm NW1 Partners.
David Marks co-founded Brockton in 2005 and the business has since gone from strength to strength. The firm’s asset management focus has paid dividends and Marks’ foresight in turning development opportunities or run-down properties into successful assets makes him a force to be reckoned with.
Take the Buckingham Gate scheme. The tired office block overlooking Buckingham Palace was acquired by Brockton in 2006, gained planning consent for a luxury residential scheme and was developed, with backing from Mountgrange and the Rothschild Foundation, in 2014. Brockton turned a tidy profit when it was sold last year to a Hong Kong buyer for £112m.
Of course, you can’t do any of it without the capital firepower, and Marks and Brockton have a canny knack of attracting significant equity commitments. The close of the firm’s third fund last year saw more than £860m raised - making it the largest UK-only value-add fund ever raised.